Twiggy and I recently celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary. We’ve been together for 16 years, have three rad kids, a mortgage and spend much of our time texting each other exciting messages like: “We need milk and bread and do you know why the fucking toilet’s blocked again?”. Marriage is so sexy.
This year, we thought we’d celebrate by going to see Arj Barker. Oh, who am I kidding? Every year we celebrate by going to see Arj Barker. OK, not every year. We have branched out and seen a couple of other comedians (you see our first ever date was a comedy show at the Fringe). Despite testing out some other comedians (who we loved), somehow each wedding anniversary I seem to find myself sitting in the audience with a beer in each hand, snort laughing to Arj Barker.
Does it feel like groundhog day, Bianca? Do you think to yourself, man, we’re old and boring and need to mix it up? Do you ever feel like there’s three people in your marriage – you, Twiggy and Arj? Yes, yes I do!
Is it always loads of fun and do you always laugh so hard you feel a little embarrassed and scan the crowd nervously to realise everyone else is laughing just as hard? Yes, yes I do.
Do you ever wonder why you’re referring to yourself in the third person? Fuck, yes.
Let me explain why we keep going back.
He’s hilarious. Simple as that.
He’s socially aware. His humour is clever, silly and not ego-driven or nasty.
If you ask Twiggy, Arj’s played a big part of our life. “When he walked on stage as the surprise warm-up act at the Flight of the Conchords at the Sydney Opera House, it was one of the best moments of my life,” my husband declared the other night. “What about the birth of our three children and when we got married?”, I replied incredulously. “Well, those moments were good too”.
It’s true, Arj has been there at times when life was overwhelming. We could go to one of his shows, or pop on his dvd (that’s how old we are, now we can stream him on Netflix) and, for an hour or so, lose ourselves in laughter. A great comedian, can take you to faraway places and bring joy when things around you are pulling you down.
Whenever I think of Arj I remember one of our first caravanning trips with our three small children. Twiggy and were feeling run down, old before our time and a bit trapped by the mundane. It was agreed that once the kids fell asleep we’d smoke a joint, pop on an Arj Barker stand-up show and pretend we were anything but middle-aged parents.
The reality of trying to smoke a joint in a caravan park was quickly realised. There are old people everywhere all snooping on each other. I was forced to stand in our port-a-loo and blow smoke out through the tiny mesh window.
Once settled back inside the caravan, Arj dvd playing and adequately surrounded by every junk food ever made, it took minutes for paranoia to set-in. “Someone’s going to complain to the caravan park manager and get us chucked out,” I said, while shoving chips into my mouth. “No they won’t, how will they know we’re stoned?” replied Twiggy, Bundy and Coke can in one hand, chocolate in the other. Luckily, no-one barged into the caravan to discover two hagged parents covered in biscuits crumbs and Twisties, snoring in tandem, while an Arj Barker dvd played loudly in the background.
So, yes, last week I once again found myself sitting at an Arj Barker show alongside my Twiggy. Both of us a little grey, a little chubbier and still very tired. We’ve both changed a lot over the years and experienced so much together, but in some ways it’s really cool to have one constant in our life – Arj Barker, the third person in our marriage.
Trust me, even if you go and see him once you will laugh out loud from the beginning to the end. For that hour, you will forget your work, your worries and your washing. You will simply feel happy. And that’s the mark of a truly brilliant comedian. Every year he delivers a fresh new show and this year’s “Organic” is one of his best.
We were given review tickets for this show, but you can purchase them on the Adelaide Fringe website.
And to Arj, if you ever read this, thank you. You’re the best third wheel. I never have to whinge about you leaving your dishes next to the dishwasher, nor imagine creative ways to kill you.
And to Twiggy, Happy Wedding Anniversary. Love you.